‘THE Forgotten Empire’ (Robert Sewell—London, 1900) is at present one of the most researched areas of South Indian history with Western and Indian scholars converging upon it. If at one end of the academic spectrum there is the grand
theoretician Burton Stein, one could locate M.H. Rama Sharma right at the other end of it.
THIS book is a contribution to the grow¬ing literature of analyses of the Indian economic experience and attempts to explain the deceleration in growth since the mid-1960s. The author proceeds from a self-avowedly Marxist position, and is to be credited with offering theoretical explanations for different economic pro¬cesses, rather than mere descriptions.
The question why the rate of investment in the Indian economy has declined since the mid ’60s, and why it is not picking up are matters of considerable concern to policy makers. Successive Finance Ministers (including the one in the short-¬lived Janata Government) have been pro¬viding various incentives so as to encou¬rage investment in the private sector. But this appears to have had little impact.
The book under review is an examina¬tion of the situation and struggles of women in Maharashtra, the most ‘Latin American’ of Indian states, in the mid-1970s. Although Maharashtra, the state surrounding Bombay, is the most indus¬trialized and capitalist in India, the position of women there reveals all the problems typical of the country: exploita¬tion and oppression based on caste, religion, feudal tradition and race (the adivasis are India’s Indians) add to the universal problem of women under peripheral capitalist development.
Publication of books and papers is often taken as an indicator of the popularity of a subject. In recent years, interest in the study of orga¬nization and management has been on the increase. Of course, growing/ popularity also attracts people to the bandwagon. The book under review represents a situation of this kind. Either the author is not clear about the scope of his subject, or he wants to use a popular label to sell something which by now is quite conventional and even unexciting. This issue hits the reader in the very first para of the first chapter.
The present volume is the record of an experiment in interdisciplinary study and dis¬cussion conducted under the joint sponsorship of the ICSSR and the Madras Insti¬tute of Development Studies. The participants in three workshops consisted of social scientists drawn from different disciplines and from various universities and research insti¬tutions, mainly from southern India. The theme of poverty, a problem of great social con¬cern and relevance, was chosen for discussion because it lends itself to interdisciplinary inves¬tigation.
It is the forte of political theo¬rists to look life in the eye, as a Russian saying goes, with¬out flinching and as far as possible by keeping away from the coloured filters of those who argue in a different vein. In any political speculation there is always a lot of room for conjecture; but Papworth dabbles feverishly in all the concepts evolved since Plato’s celebrated city state, only to write them off as the brain children of dreamy idealists.
In this book Dilip Kumar Roy pays tribute to six ‘illu¬minates’ of modern India—Sri Aurobindo, Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Mahatma Gandhi, Sant Gulab Singh and Mahayogi Anirvan. Some of these men he has written about in his earlier, more interesting book, Among the Great.
The volume under review is a collection of Schumacher’s writings and speeches, pains¬takingly compiled and edited by a colleague. Schumacher was deeply involved in two areas during his life: these were energy and management control of a large corporate body. The first four chapters of the book deal with the energy crisis and the last two with the question of public ownership and controls.
Hot Water Man is a story set in Karachi during Bhutto’s rule. But like most British writing on the subject of the jewel in the British crown, it is the story of a search for a lost kingdom—the Raj. And Bhutto figures only marginally, as does the real Pakistan. Where the authors of these works are not writing of the actual period, as Paul Scott did so successfully, they are trying to trace its remnants.
Portuguese imperialism sought to present itself as the embodiment of a divine Caesar and thereby to absolve itself from the obligation of render¬ing the spoils either unto God or unto Caesar. Rapine became thus an essential part of the crusade. The Portuguese could thus evolve a curious blend of lust for gold and souls. Its numismatic expres¬sion was the Cruzado.